The words of the Divine Comedy, Dante's lyrical, political and emotional world, even his unmistakable profile, have always been part of our cultural DNA. Traces of the Supreme Poet are widely present in the contemporary world, in everyone's imagination as well as in everyday life, through the both cultural sites and in the streets of our cities: this is the common thread of "Dante 700 - A portrait of Dante and the places of poet in the photographs of Massimo Sestini”, the exhibition to be held in Florence from October 29, 2020 until January 6, 2021.
The exhibition consists of 20 images in 150x100 format created by the internationally renowned photojournalist Massimo Sestini, known for his unique perspective and his experimental and unconventional photographic techniques. The photographic story starts from Florence, Dante's birthplace, to Ravenna, where his remains are preserved, passing through the source of the Arno on Monte Falterona as well as Venice, Rome, Verona and Poppi, exploring the resounding impact of the poet.
Sestini's gaze always looks to the future, with an exciting perspective that absolutely avoids the postcard effect by using innovative tools. Using a telescopic rod mounted with a very light camera, Sestini literally takes the visitor to the height of the statue of Dante in a Piazza Santa Croce in Florence, emptied due to Covid. Using a drone, he photographs the work by artist Enrico Mazzone, the 97-meter long Divine Comedy, inside the Mercato Coperta in Ravenna. Another work was created by immersing himself in the waters of Venice, wearing a mask, fins and snorkel, where the photojournalist challenges the vaporetto to immortalize “Dante's boat”, a bronze work by the Georgian sculptor Georgy Frangulyan.
Among the highlights of the exhibition, are two innovative photographs. The first is an incredible image of the Last Judgment by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari that decorates the dome of the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral in Florence. The photo, which offers - for the first time - a view of the fresco from top to bottom, was made thanks to a radio-controlled camera lowered with a fishing line from the top of the cathedral, 85 meters above ground. The second is a symbolic image of Florence which, when seen from above, becomes planet-like. Sestini created this image by protruding a spherical image camera from a helicopter tied to an eight meter long pole. There's no shortage of shots taken from the news, including high school students grappling with Dante's triplets and street art works that creatively celebrate the great genius of literature.
The 20 shots are accompanied by a Renaissance masterpiece: a wooden portal, from the Museum of Palazzo Vecchio, created in 1480 by Giuliano da Maiano and Francesco di Giovanni known as Francione, based on a design by Sandro Botticelli. The inlays portray Dante in full figure. It is a valuable work, both for its intrinsic value and for the image of the poet he handed down to us.